Anti-Israel rally in Venezuela (Archives)
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Jewish Center attacked in Venezuela; no injuries

Community center in Caracas hit by small explosive; No injuries reported, building sustains damage. Venezuela's Jewish leaders have been warning of rising anti-Semitism in country, supported by president

Representatives of Venezuela's Jewish population said Thursday that a community center was attacked by unidentified assailants who threw an explosive at the building.


Abraham Garzon, president of the Jewish Community Center located in downtown Caracas, said a small explosive resembling a pipe bomb was lobbed at the building before dawn on Thursday. The explosion damaged the doors to the center, but nobody was injured by the blast.


This is the second attack against a Jewish institution this year.


About a month ago an armed group vandalized Caracas' oldest synagogue, shattering religious objects, throwing Torah scrolls on the floor and spray-painting walls with anti-Semitic messages amid Venezuela's diplomatic spat with Israel over its military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Leaders of Venezuela's estimated 15,000-member Jewish community have complained that vocal denunciations of Israel by President Hugo Chavez and Venezuela's state and pro-government news media may have encouraged the attack.


Chavez has condemned the attack, and suggested that government adversaries eager to portray his socialist administration as anti-Semitic could have been behind it.


Venezuela's Jews also are concerned about Chavez's increasingly close relationship with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map."


פרסום ראשון: 02.26.09, 23:45
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